The rush to be a "one stop" for merchants by bundling mobile, Web and in-store payment technology is proving to be a heavy lift, in terms of cash, resources and IT skills.

This week, TSYS announced it is acquiring TransFirst, in part to accelerate its ability to integrate different payment channels and flesh out its product mix to include processing, prepaid and multi-channel payments. The $2.4 billion price tag is $1 billion more than TSYS spent to add a consumer-facing prepaid business just two years ago when it bought NetSpend.

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